Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday Meal Planning: The Quick Six Fix

I haven't been regularly cooking for about 1-2 months now and so I'm really excited to get back into meal planning and cooking from a different cookbook each week. This week our dinners will come from The Quick Six Fix by Stuart O'Keeffe.The basic concept is that each recipe uses only 6 ingredients, takes 6 minutes of prep, and 6 minutes of cleanup.


Monday: Lemony Artichoke Spaghetti (p.75)
Tuesday: BLTA Steak Salad (p.41)
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Chicken Risotto w/ Asparagus (p.106)
Friday: Chowdered Scallops (p.92)
Saturday: Cider Pork Chops with Broccolini (p.131) and Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Sunday: Dinner out

Sunday, January 15, 2017

January 2017 Goals

The original plan was to post Lincoln's birth story today but I haven't finish writing it. So instead of not posting at all I decided to go ahead and share my monthly goals.

I pulled out my newest notebook, from my friend Kim, and started my very first list within its pages... She knows that I love making a list!!!


So here they are! 

Already accomplished that first one!!!

Finish Lincoln's Room: Need to add a little more artwork and a bumper

Update Emma's Closet: Emma no longer wants the chalkboard doors and she has a ton of clothes/activities/games that she has outgrown over the past few years... so it is time for a little update... plus the walls have come off the track because each night Sophie sneaks into Emma's closet to sleep and has been pushing the doors the wrong way to get inside.

Touch-up Paint in the House: There are a few walls in the house that are in need of a touch-up and I figure that each day, after the 20th, I will pick one room and just spend 30 minutes with a little refresh.

Blog 10 Times: This s post three so I'm on the way.

Read Two Books: I received a few books for Christmas and I want to take the time to read them.

Start Business Planning Again: I was doing so well with getting Birch Event and Design up and running UNTIL I started my new job in October... But starting Friday my workload will greatly decrease so I need to get back into the swing of things! I hope to have the website live by early February and need to get my name out there!

Create a Budget for the Year: New Year... New Budget!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Park Family Fall Photos

I had every intention of getting this posted earlier in the day but Lincoln and I had our first full day back at work. He did a great job and with only three work days left until the end of the Administration... I feel like it is the right thing to do.

So I LOVE taking family photos. It is fun seeing, via photos, how much my kiddos have grown up in the last year and I needed a photo for our Christmas card. I do admit that I was second-guessing myself as we were standing in the streets of Old Town in the wind and it was only 35 degrees out...but again totally worth it after seeing the images.

All photo credit goes to the talented Virginia of House of Maps Photography.

















Cannot wait to get some of these printed and up on our gallery wall!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Getting back into the swing of things...

To say that a lot has happened since my last post on October 24th is an understatement. I've been VERY busy with cooking/delivering a baby, becoming Director of Protocol, celebrating Christmas, preparing for transition, being mom and wife, and just doing the daily items that keep us all busy.

One of my goals for the new year is to be better about blogging and well doing things just because I want to do them... Also, with so many family members that don't live close by this is often the main way that they keep up with what the Park Family is up to.

Here's the plan for the rest of this week and next.

FRIDAY: Park Family Fall Photos
SUNDAY: Gibson's Birth Story
MONDAY: Monday Meal Plan
TUESDAY: Goals for the Month
THURSDAY: DoD Farewell
FRIDAY Favorite Things Friday

Monday, October 24, 2016

28 Weeks Preggers with Lincoln!



I cannot believe that we are already in the third trimester with Lincoln!!! 



I had my first doctor’s appointment in a LONG TIME (7 weeks) on Thursday and it was so nice to hear the heartbeat. I mean this guy moves a TON so I knew that all was okay but still nice to hear!Next appointment will be in three weeks. 

So this is where things are standing currently… figured I would do a “traditional” update and see where I am comparing with my last few pregnancies…


Total Weight Gain/Measurements: 20 Lbs which is where I normally am at this point


Maternity Clothes: of course and probably about to go up a pant size, as with other pregnancies


Stretch Marks: Not yet… I had really thought that I was going to get them super early on this pregnancy since one popped up on my FINAL day of pregnancy with Gibson… Just figured that would start a trend but I guess that isn’t the case.


Sleep: HORRIBLE. That doesn’t allow for much actual sleep time. At home I do a bit better. I’m also a little more comfortable thanks to my new Snoogle and I think that I am going to start bringing it on the road… Might as well if it will help me to sleep better.



Miss anything: Wine and Sushi


Movements: ALL the time. Right before bed seems to be the most active time.


Cravings? Yogurt, plums, and granola top the list and I no longer have an aversion to fruit snacks… so those are back in the mix


Labor Signs: Nope


Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions any time I don’t’ have enough water or if my bladder is too full. Major back pains if I’m on my feet a lot during the day. I think that is what is contributing to my hard time sleeping too.


Belly Button in or out?? Still an Innie at this point and no Line Negra


Wedding rings? On… I don’t tend to swell too much


Mood: Okay… I find myself in a funk sometimes but I think that is less pregnancy related and more to do with trying to find the time to “do it all.” I know that it is an unobtainable goal you… there is no such thing as work life balance! Also, being a parent of a pre-teen is HARD!  


Looking forward to??? Starting to take it a little easier… I’ve decided that this will be my last International Trip with the Secretary of Defense. The time zone changes are really rough on my body and that combined with the fact that the next trip that we are looking to do was a TWO week one about a month out from my due date… It is going to be super hard to miss that final international trip but I cannot take the risk of having Lincoln, early, on an airplane or in a third world country. Should he come a month early in the U.S. we would be okay with modern medicine… over the Atlantic… not so many guarantees. 


I still have three domestic trips which will take me up until the end of November though so Lincoln will still get some additional miles under his belt… Just not on the E4B or C-17.




Highlight of the week… SOOOOO… When I was this far along with Hunter I was getting ready for my bestie Holly’s wedding shower! At this stage with Gibson… Getting ready for her Baby shower for her little boy Ethan… and now this week she has welcomed her SECOND child! A beautiful little girl Ella!




Wishing that she was here in Virginia and not California!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Favorite Things


It isn’t Friday but I wanted to share a few things that I, personally, find joy in at the moment:

  1. Golden Nugget Necklace: This first item isn’t something that you can buy at a store but I still wanted to share it with you…

    The necklace is a simple, understated, gold nugget on a small gold chain but the true value is that it was a recent gift from my Grandmother and was given when we went to Indiana to celebrate her 96th Birthday! The nugget on the necklace was made from my Grandmother’s and Grandfather’s class rings melted down! How neat is that? I’ve been wearing it almost every day and I love it when people ask about the piece! It allows for me to talk about what amazing people she and my grandfather are/were. 
    This is a one of a kind piece but I think that it would be easy to have something, like this, made from old jewelry OR you can truly copy their genius and melt down a piece of handed down jewelry that might not be your style to make into something that is truly special and unique 
  2. This is Us: If you haven’t seen this new show on NBC you need to watch it! I’ve cried during almost every episode and I don’t think it is due to just my pregnancy hormones. The real relationships and struggles within the drama are captivating and each week I look forward to seeing the story develop. 
  3. PODCASTS! I’m a little late to this trend but I’ve recently started listening to podcasts on a regular basis… In the past I had listened to Serial but that was really it. Now when I get into the car, and I’m alone, the radio is off and I’m typically listening to Young House Love has a Podcast, Alec Baldwin’s Here’s the Thing, or The Event Planners Podcast. No matter what your interests there is guaranteed to be a podcast available! 

  4. SNOOGLE: To say that I love my Snoogle is an understatement. This bad boy goes EVERYWHERE with me and is the most comfortable thing ever. I even recommend this pillow for non-pregnant friends. 

  5. SIMPLE: The Easiest Cookbook in the World: This cookbook is changing my life!!! What are two items that we could always use more of…Money and Time and this cookbook helps me to save both of those things. Every recipe uses FOUR Steps, or less, and just SIX ingredients, or less! I mean come on AND the author is a famous French chef so you’re cooking up things like Thai-Basil Beef. Saffron Risotto, and Mozzarella and Fig Skewers! Matt always gets so upset when I get excited about a recipe that has 15+ ingredients because all he sees are the dollar signs… so he is a fan of this book as well. HUGE thank you to the dear friend that gifted it to me!